The Rugged Maniac was the first 5k obstacle course that I have run. I chose the race in 2013 because of how many obstacles are packed into the 3.1 mile course. This year was my second Maniac featuring fanatical filthy muddy madness and it was spectacular. Returning from a 2-week hiatus from my rigorous training I had some difficulty running the course. Unfortunately my diet had been in the dumps and I was not well prepared for the run. Not only was I out of shape but I did little to no incline training. The location was hosted at a motocross park and featured a lot of hills. Needless to say, I took this year easy but still had a grand time.
The 25 obstacles really seemed to focus on water this year; thankfully the sun was out and we enjoyed a nearly 80 degree afternoon. We crawled through water and mud under barbed wire, through tunnels, down a water slide, over PVC pipe, and through a pit. In case you began to dry off you could find more waiting for you under the Gauntlet, Balance or Bust, and the Ringer. This year’s course featured a lot more “American Ninja Warrior” themed obstacles like the Ninja Escape, Frog Hop, and a Slippery Slope. This year’s additions made the Maniac even more memorable.
My only grievance about the Rugged Maniac would be how they launched the heats. They launched the entire group all at once. This led to several backups at particular obstacles. Back in June we ran the “Down and Dirty” 10k. At this race they released only a handful of people every couple of minutes resulting in no bottlenecks throughout the race; to date it’s hands down the best race we’ve run. Being out of shape I was actually relieved to wait a minute or two for others to get over Jacob’s Ladder or to bounce through Antigravity. If I have time I hope to participate again next year, though my eyes are set on the Spartan trifecta for 2015.